Those of you who follow this blog regularly and/or my Twitter feed already know that I am a huge fan of chef Makoto Okuwa and his eponymous restaurant located at the Bal Harbour Shops. They were ranked in Tier One of my most recent Best Restaurants in Miami Rankings and an omakase experience with chef Makoto made my Best Meals of 2011 list. I also featured them recently in my Tiers of Sushi and again here.
Obviously, I was very excited that chef Makoto was hosting a Cobaya dinner. It was a fun and delicious meal that featured some very unique and interesting ingredients. The beer, sake and wine selections were very enjoyable and paired well with each course. Service was flawless and our server was very knowledgeable about each unique course and the pairings.
Many thanks to chef Makoto and his team for a very special night. And thanks to all the Guinea pigs out there for your continued support and interest.
Chef Makoto in the shadows of the "underground."
The evening started with a wonderfully luscious turtle headcheese which was a true experiment as it was the first time chef Makoto made the dish. Delicious hay smoked eggplant, molasses, pickled mustard seed and crispy kale served as a perfect compliment to the turtle. It was paired with a very nice Japanese craft rice beer called Echigo.
|Techili to Iseebi to Kimosoe|
The next course reminded me of a bento box without the box. It featured several outstanding bites which resulted in a dish of the year caliber plate. An extremely rare and tasty blowfish served two ways, as a tataki and with its sliced skin, was the featured ingredient but the lobster sashimi was a dynamite bite(s) and the monkfish liver pate was probably the best I've ever had. A solo Japanese peach was a flavorful treat. Ginger flower, radish, kaiware daikon, yuzu kosho vinaigrette and truffle purée all contributed to the overall success of the dish.
I also enjoyed the Shici Hon Yari Junmai Sake that was paired with the dish.
A charcoaled blowfish tempura was served next. The crispy exterior and tender fish was a perfect combination. Pickled watermelon, shiso leaf, and green tea salt rounded out another excellent dish. It was paired with another tasty sake, Dewasansan Junmai Ginjo Sake.
The marbling was a magnificent site.
One to two-seconds in the broth was all you needed to have a dynamite piece.
Dessert included a wonderful white chocolate cream, along with an Okinawa black sugar cake, soy sauce ice cream and passion fruit. It was paired with a sparking sake, Hou Hou Shu, which was a first for me.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable meal in every way and truly in the spirit of Cobaya. If you haven't been to Makoto yet I highly recommend paying them a visit.
Bal Harbour Shops : 9700 Collins Avenue
Bal Harbour, FL 33154 | phone: 305.864.860